Simple. None of them had any capability to control the first screen. 3 of them used audio ACR to recognize what you were watching, while Yap.TV showed you a list of thumb nails of popular shows there were currently airing for you to select.
Social. I was surprised at little activity there seemed to be tonight on such a highly marketed premier. I started with Umami and opened the Twitter feed. While curated (which I like), it was not time-coded (ie designed to match the timecode of the feature)--so the East Coast spoiled the show's ending for me 30 seconds into it. ConnecTV had the official show Tweets showing, but since my friends aren't my friends in this app, I had no friend tweets/chats showing. Yap.tv had light traffic on it's chat section and did not curate the Tweets, so they flew by on the app (also spoilers). The "Poll" section was empty. TVplus has the best implementation tonight (which surprised me), with fan tweets on one side of the screen and show tweets on the other. They seemed to be semi-curated, but oddly enough the right-hand bottom corner reserved for current tweets was empty the whole show.
Seamless. None of the apps had any method to incorporate multiple sources of content (all relied on live TV guides).
Stimulating. I was looking for some of the basics (the cast, access to things like IMDB or Wikipedia) as well as advanced features like synchronized content. ConnecTV had no cast or links to IMDB or Wikipedia. Yap.TV had no cast or access to simple metadata sites, but did curiously have some random cast photos. Umami had both native cast information and access to IMDB and Wikipedia (and ABC and Google). TVplus had no basic cast information, but did have links to Wikipedia and IMDB. It got a little more interesting on the synchronized content front. Yap.TV and Umami had no synchronized experiences. ConnecTV did have changing content, but I don't think it was synchronized to anything. In fact, the ConnecTV content kept showing facts about the cast constantly (in seeming random order and timing). TVplus had by far the best synchronized experience, showing various factoids, polls, cast information, etc, about the show, but only about every 45 seconds, so it wasn't distracting. The content was also clearly curated and relevant.
Discovery. None of the apps had any discovery features.
I think I was probably most satisfied with my Umami experience for the basic Social and Stimulating features (despite the spoiling) and TVplus for the synchronized content experience. Overall, not an impressive night though. I am guessing the 4 apps were well prepared for the premier but either did not have access to the information before the show aired to make the experience more engaging or didn't have the staff on hand to do so in real-time.
It is early days. We have a long ways to go.
|Umami's curated (not timecoded) Twitter feed|
|ConnecTV's Changing but not synchronized content exp. (w/ ad)|